Career changes are necessary when work becomes a chore. Why put up with unsatisfying work when your career is such an integral part of your life? For starters, you spend more than half your waking hours at work and as if that isn’t bad enough, you are actually judged by your career status.
Go to a party sometime and the first thing people ask after an introduction is ‘so what do you do ?’ A prestigious career can earn you plenty of admiration, a lucrative career could make people resent you but a satisfying career will always earn you respect. Work doesn’t define us and yet it tells a big part of the story. If you’re fed up with meaningless routine and desire a career that allows time and energy for what matters most in life, then the following ideas and strategies could help you make some serious career changes.
1. Find what makes you tick – On a sheet of paper list your talents, hobbies, unique life experiences, educational background and practical skills. What does your dream career look like? What aspects of your current career would you like to change? What sort of work would make you truly happy? How can your life experiences, education and practical skills contribute toward creating your desired career? Thoughtfully write down the answers to these questions. If you require further insight, get some feedback from family and friends. Who knows, they could help you discover hidden talents. Work with what you’ve got in the mean time. For instance, if you love gardening, consider setting up shop as a florist. If you are a lover of the outdoors and don’t like the idea of being stuck behind the counter, you can sell your gardening supplies online. With proper planning and execution, even drastic career changes can be achieved.
2. Get refined – No one shells out hard earned money to amateurs. Work on your talents so that you can compete with leading professionals. For instance, if you dream of making a living as a fashion designer, get an industry veteran to mentor you, attend practical courses and practice devotedly. To be honest, even dream careers can be hard work. The only difference is that when you offer great value to your customers you’ll be rewarded financially and emotionally for doing work you love.
3. Find wants and needs – Most times people assume that there is an instant market for the products and services they offer. Okay, so you really enjoy folk singing or writing poetry. Is there a sizeable demand or at least growing appetite for your craft? If you have faith in your work, press on by all means but be prepared to make sacrifices and accept that change may come in another era. For example, Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings are worth a fortune today but he died a pauper in the year 1890. On the contrary, Picasso lived a life of affluence – perhaps walking a path already paved by pioneer artists. If you plan to pay your mortgage in the mean time, you must combine your creativity with business sense. For instance, greeting card companies are always on the look out for verse; consider supplying lyrics to bespoke card makers whilst you write your literary masterpiece. Are you an aspiring musician? TV and movie studios are always in need of royalty free intro music. Consider catering to such hungry markets whilst you put finishing touches to your debut album. Lots of creativity and sense will bring your ideal career to life.
4. Sell to wants and needs – Take time to study trends and assess potential markets. You don’t want to invest precious time and money crafting a product, only to find out that demand isn’t steady. You want the need (for whatever you plan to sell) to be as regular as your utility bill. One can’t go wrong in the food industry for instance because whatever happens people have to eat. In order to serve their customers, cooks have to buy crockery from the manufacturing industry. People who eat also have to defecate at some point and that’s where toilet roll production comes in. Think strategically. Seek to meet genuinely pressing wants and needs with your creative talents.
5. Stay focused – Always remember that the primary objective of your career change is to ‘make a living doing what you love’. Don’t get so caught up in red tape or profit making that you forget to enjoy yourself. Of course running a business of your own will never be all fun and games but if you are in the right line of work, you should feel enormous fulfilment despite the hassle. Having said that, life is a journey. People grow; circumstances and needs change. Time may come when you have to move on to yet another challenge. We live in the age of diversity and opportunity, don’t be afraid of trying something new but strive for excellence in all that you do.
So that’s it – 5 steps to making purposeful and longer-lasting career changes. However, whilst informative articles make for excellent reading, it’s important to take action right away!